“The Vampire Diaries” episode “The Killer” jumps right in with Connor, who has it out with his boss Professor Shane for holding back hunting information Connor needs to stay alive. We learn that Connor really doesn’t know anything about his tattoos, and that the professor has promised to enlighten him once they fully appear–which means killing more vampires.
Connor decides to accomplish this by holding Matt, Jeremy, and April as hostage bait at The Grill. Stefan gets orders from Klaus to bring the hunter back alive, and sends a hybrid to help. He warns Stefan that the more people that know about the cure, the more people will try to find it. Stefan agrees, but it doesn’t take long for Damon and Elena to be suspicious of his evasiveness and reluctance about taking Connor down.
Stefan finally takes extreme measures, tranquilizing Damon with vervain and begging Elena to trust him and stay home. At that moment, she does. Stefan moves in to save the hostages, using old tunnels that go under the restaurant. Unfortunately the hybrid meant to take out Connor runs into one of his booby traps and ends up with a hole blown through his chest where his heart used to be.
Matt and April have been banished to the back of the restaurant, where Matt tries to get them out through an old wine cellar that’s been bricked over. Meanwhile Jeremy is trying to talk Connor down, telling him all vampires aren’t bad, but it turns out Connor killed his one vampire friend. Jeremy also finds out that he’d spent an entire day with Connor but doesn’t remember it, meaning he’d been compelled to do it.
Back at home, Elena is going crazy with worry, and revives Damon. The two figure out from Stefan’s behavior that he’s working with Klaus, and there’s no stopping Elena from going to save her brother now. Damon tells her to use the element of surprise, since Connor doesn’t know she’s a vampire.
Stefan rescues Matt and April from The Grill first, giving them the map to escape through the tunnels. Then he takes cover in the main room, asking Connor to give Jeremy up in exchange for telling him about The Five. Before he can get anywhere, Elena arrives through the front door. Connor isn’t moved by her pleas for her brother, and threatens to shoot him in front of her if Stefan doesn’t give himself up.
Stefan does, but Elena uses that one moment of distraction to attack Connor, who still manages to put a bullet through Jeremy. Before the boy falls and sets off another booby trap, Stefan swoops in to snatch him out of harm’s way. Then he saves Elena, who’s about to get staked through the heart.
Before Elena can react, Stefan gets Connor into the tunnels, where he runs into Damon. He lets Connor go and ends up with Damon’s hand plunged into his chest, his brother threatening to rip his heart out until he’s forced to tell him about the vampire cure. Damon accepts that Stefan loves Elena and wants her to be the human person she wants to be. He says he’s happy with Elena either way, so by helping Stefan, he’s only doing it for him.
While they’re having their literal heart-to-heart, though, Elena finds Connor in the tunnels and kills him. The brothers find her in the woods, digging a hole to bury him, having a terrible attack of remorse for taking a human life. She’s furious that Stefan lied to her and that neither brother will tell her the truth.
Meanwhile, Matt and Jeremy, who’s been healed by Elena’s blood, part ways with April for the day. It’s clear she’s been compelled again and doesn’t remember anything that happened. Jeremy and Matt subtly talk her into taking and wearing a vervain bracelet. Connor said that April was a part of all this, and April confessed to feeling like she knew him, so we’re guessing we’ll be seeing more of April in future.
Elsewhere, Bonnie gets voluntarily hypnotized by Professor Shane, and he helps her find her powers again. A jealous Caroline confronts Tyler, who swears to her that though the werewolf Hayley helped him break his sire bond, he was never involved with her. He just wants Klaus to think that, so the Original won’t catch on to the fact that he and Hayley are helping other hybrids break the bond.
Back at home, Elena vents about her emotional struggles in her diary until her attention is drawn to a noise in the house. Then she finds a trail of crime-scene level blood that leads her to the bathroom, where she’s confronted by the word “KILLER” scrawled in red on the mirror. And then it’s all gone, and she realizes it was all a chilling hallucination.
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